Bad Breath (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Bad breath facts
- What is the definition of bad breath?
- What are the causes of bad breath?
- What are the symptoms of bad breath?
- How is bad breath treated?
- What can be done to prevent bad breath?
- What products can be used to eliminate or mask bad breath?
- When should I see a doctor about bad breath?
What are the symptoms of bad breath?
Others may notice you have bad breath before you do so they may tell you about your bad breath or give you a larger than normal personal space. The most obvious symptom is that you notice an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth.
Other symptoms of bad breath include:
- Unpleasant taste or changes in taste
- Dry mouth
- Coating on the tongue
How is bad breath treated?
Treatment of bad breath depends on the cause.
- Brush and floss teeth regularly. Remember to brush the tongue, too. This can help with bad breath caused by foods a person has eaten.
- See a dentist regularly to ensure dentures or braces are properly fitted and cleaned.
- Quit smoking or using chewing tobacco.
Keep the mouth moist by drinking water, and chewing sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy to stimulate the production of saliva. Mouthwash may temporarily mask bad breath odors, but it may not treat the underlying cause.
Natural remedies to treat bad breath include chewing on mint or parsley.
If bad breath is due to a health problem such as a sinus infection, diabetes, acid reflux, etc., then the underlying medical issue needs to be treated.
If bad breath is a side effect of taking a medication, discuss with a doctor whether there are other options for medication that can be taken. Never stop taking a medication without first consulting a doctor.
For patients who suffer from dry mouth (xerostomia), artificial saliva may be prescribed by a dentist.
What can be done to prevent bad breath?
Fortunately, in many cases bad breath can be easily prevented.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush and floss regularly. See a dentist regularly.
- Avoid eating foods that cause bad breath.
- Quit smoking/chewing tobacco.
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